Anyone who’s stayed a few nights in a youth hostel with be familiar with the standard fare: large dormitories and shared facilities. Many of us might not want it any other way – although it looks like times might be changing, at least for many UK youth hostels, who will soon be getting a makeover.

A number of new hostels will be opening, and a few – considered lost causes – will be closed. Some of the bigger changes will be the removal of some dormitories, turning them into private rooms, sometimes even with ensuite bathrooms.

This will certainly be a major shift for many hostels, and it makes me wonder whether it will result in price rises – or even an overall drop in the number of beds available for hostellers. Will this have a negative effect on the social atmosphere within hostels? I’m sure that many of us have met people that we probably wouldn’t have ever spoken to if we hadn’t been sharing a dormitory with them for a number of nights. Will it turn hostels into nothing more than a chain of ultra-economy hotels?

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